BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman Elijah Cummings (Both D-Md.) today joined local elected and education leaders, officials from the U.S. Department of Education and the principals of five schools affected by the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray to celebrate the recent award of more than $290,000 in new federal funding to help the schools’ ongoing recovery effort.
“Following the death of Freddie Gray, we sat with and listened to the Baltimore communities that were most affected, and promised to work hard to help them rebuild. The Obama Administration also pledged its strong support. We already have seen several examples, from assistance for small businesses to summer jobs for students, and these grants to Baltimore City Public Schools underscore our continuing commitment,” said Senator Cardin. “Making sure each child had the support they needed to help them deal with increased fear and anxiety was a high priority for most every resident we met with after the unrest. These federal funds will help address those needs directly.”
“For some of our young people, schools are their safety net—the most structured part of their lives,” Representative Cummings said. “This grant will allow these schools to extend that safety net beyond their walls and provide more support to the students who need it most.”
Specifically, the $292,647 grant through the Department of Education’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program will enable the district to hire additional full-time social workers and psychologists to support the efforts to restore the learning environment at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School, Frederick Douglass Senior High School, Gilmor Elementary School, Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School and William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School.
These extra social workers and psychologists will conduct home visits for teacher-referred students in need of services, facilitate small group and/or individual sessions with students, prepare lesson plans for teachers to use in classrooms, and provide professional development opportunities and trainings for school-based staff.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Project SERV funds short-term and long-term education-related services for local educational agencies and institutions of higher education to help them recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted.